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The Royals depth options

After signing Rafael Furcal, is the Royals' depth in a good place?

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Training is in full swing, but Opening Day is within sight. Most rosters, if not all, are pretty set in terms of starters and competition for open spots. There aren't many teams sitting out there with complete question marks at a position. The Royals, in an attempt to upgrade the depth they have, recently signed Rafael Furcal. That got me thinking about the Royals' depth in general. In some places, I think the Royals are solid. In others...not so much.

I'll start with the position players. The Royals have Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, and Alex Rios as the starters. Jarrod Dyson sits behind them. Dyson is about as good as it can get in terms of value from a fourth outfielder, but beyond him it's iffy. The FanGraphs depth chart has Reymond Fuentes as the next guy up. Fuentes is only 24, so he's perhaps a long-term backup the Royals can hold onto. However, he's had only 245 PA in AAA and 36 dismal PA in the majors. If Fuentes is logging significant time, there's a problem. Terrance Gore might be the next guy up, and we're aware of how the Royals view his lack of a bat. After that, it's minor leaguers like Lane Adams, Paulo Orlando, and Jorge Bonifacio if the nuclear option is given the green light. The Royals can sustain an injury to one of their top guys, but it's rough beyond that.

On the infield, there's Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Omar Infante, and Eric Hosmer. The first guy up for everyone except Hosmer is Christian Colon. Colon is almost 26 and has only 49 PA in the majors. He performed very well but had a high BABIP. I feel OK about having Colon as the utility backup guy, but I understand that his floor is floor-ier than his ceiling is ceiling-y.

After Colon, there's a cavalcade of fringy types like Ryan Roberts, Ryan Jackson, and Rafael Furcal. I'm not excited about any of their bats, but it's not like the current starters have great bats. The defense will probably be there. Orlando Calixte also shows up on the depth chart under shortstop, but I doubt the Royals give him any playing time over the veteran guys.

Kendrys Morales is the primary 1B backup, but he's also the starting DH. If he goes down, then Cheslor Cuthbert is next on the chart. He's young and has shown promise in the past, so he could be an interesting option. The Royals could give Whit Merrifield or Matt Fields their time in the sun if Cuthbert isn't ready to be at least replacement level.

Erik Kratz is the primary backup at catcher. I feel pretty good about that. He has some power and is supposedly a good framer. That's about all you can ask for.

Basically, outside Colon and Kratz, I don't feel good about the Royals' infield depth options. I don't feel awesome about the primary options to begin with, so there's that. I obviously don't expect great options behind the starters because they are backups for a reason, but the infield seems particularly thin.

As for the pitchers, I think the Royals are OK. The bullpen has Jason Frasor as a 5th option (after Hochevar is back), and there are plenty of other arms the Royals acquired who could be serviceable middle relief types after him. The bullpen depth is good to go. As for the rotation, Chris Young stands as the first guy up. I'm pretty good with this. He's a great fit for the Royals team and ballpark. Hopefully, Kris Medlen becomes the 7th option after he's done rehabbing, assuming all goes well of course. Brandon Finnegan is probably the 8th option, and I'm comfortable living in a world in which he is the 8th option (regardless of whether he starts the season in the bullpen or in a AAA rotation - a separate issue). Some combination of Brian Flynn, Aaron Brooks, and Yohan Pino come after Finnegan. Aaron Brooks was more like a 6th option last year; I'm much more comfortable with him as a 9th option this year. If the Royals are this far down the depth chart, then there's a problem. The Royals can sustain a few losses, though, depending on who is lost.

Overall, the pitching depth is good. The outfield depth is OK but can't sustain multiple losses. The infield depth is perhaps lacking, but there is less of a dropoff because the starters are already lacking in offensive talent. I would be most worried about the outfield. If Dyson is logging significant playing time as a starter, which outfielder went down? It's a very important question. If it's Rios, they're probably fine. Let's not talk about the other scenarios.